Resistance Training

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Kettlebells: Behind the Iron Ball

Getting around these clunky, funky weights.

Spend much time in the gym and you’ll probably come across some odd-looking objects that look like part medicine ball and part handbag.

These oddities are known as kettlebells, and they may hold the secret to improved fitness. However, if you’re not careful, they can also cause your physical downfall.
Here’s a quick look at kettlebells and how you can use these strange weights to your advantage.

About Kettlebells

In essence, kettlebells are bowling balls with handles. Compared to other weight-training tools, the strange shape of kettlebells force weight lifters to focus on their every movement, which results in a whole-body workout with a lot of focus on the lifter’s core. Traditionally, kettlebells are made of cast iron and come in weights that range from 2 to 100 pounds. The relatively light weight of the heaviest kettlebells is made up by the range of muscles that get worked out when using kettlebells for any exercise. (more…)

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When Your Rotator Cuff Goes Kaput!

Getting a good workout even when your rotator cuff is on the injured list.

All is going well when suddenly, there’s a pain in your shoulder. After a quick trip to your doctor, you find out it’s your rotator cuff. Now what?

You don’t have to sit around moaning and groaning. You can take action to rebuild your damaged rotator cuff. All it takes is three easy steps.

First: Think Protection

No matter what else you do, you will need to keep your rotator cuff from further injury by protecting it well. If you’re doing something that causes your injured rotator cuff to hurt, stop whatever you’re doing. Otherwise, your already injured rotator cuff can suffer an even worse injury that requires more serious medical intervention. (more…)

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Want To Build Your Lats?

Here are five of the best exercises to work the largest muscles in your back.

Your latissimus dorsi, commonly known as lats, are broad, fan-shaped muscles in your middle to lower back that connect to all the other back muscles. While you may not give them much thought, your lats work to rotate and move your arms and shoulders. They also play an important part in your overall weight and resistance training and add width to your body that give your physique the unique “V” shape that shows you mean business.

Want to turn your body into a V-shaped beacon of musculature? (more…)

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Can You Increase Your Bust?

Why yes you can. Here’s how.

“We must, we must, we must increase our bust!” As a child, you sang it jokingly with your close friends. As a teenager, you shouted it with passion and vigor. Now, you say it as if the words alone could cause your breasts to leap cup sizes in an instant. But without plastic surgery, is it actually possible to help your chest grow? Yes it is – as long as you don’t expect to jump from an A cup to a D cup.

If you’re interested in increasing your bust and feeling better about your body, give these simple and effective exercises a shot.

“You know it’s a bad day when you put your bra on backwards and it fits better. “Unknown (more…)
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Firmer Forearms

Essential exercises that will get you on your way to forearms of steel.

Every time you wear a short-sleeve shirt, you show them off. And when you shake hands, open a door, or carry a box, you rely on their strength. So shouldn’t you make sure your forearms are strong as can be, ready to take on any task you throw their way?

Yes, you should. And with these exercises, you can give your forearms a little boost to get firmer, stronger, and more able to help you do those things that come your way each and every day. (more…)

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Your Chest Amplified

How to make your pecs bigger and better than ever.

A bigger chest reaps serious dividends, inside and outside of the gym. Ever wondered how exactly to increase your chest’s size and strength? Well, you don’t have to wonder any more! Because in the next few paragraphs, you’re about to get the lowdown on some of the best exercises to boost the size and strength of your chest.
Ready to beef up your pecs? Here we go!

Dumb It Down

Using barbells for bench presses is one of the most discussed and praised ways to improve your chest. Helpful as barbell-based bench presses may be, you can grow your chest even more if you add a little variety to your benching ways. So instead of using the barbell with each rep, do a set with the barbell and then switch to a set with dumbbells in each hand. This forces more of your pectoral muscles to get in on the action, giving them ample opportunity to grow.

Raise the Standard

Need something extra to add into your bench-pressing routine? It may be time to move to an inclined bench. By performing the same bench press routine on an incline, you work your chest muscles in new ways – no matter if you’re pushing up a barbell or dumbbells. As always, practice good technique to reduce the likelihood of injury when trying out new exercises. (more…)

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Up Your Endurance

Tired of running out of steam before the end of the race? It’s time to up your endurance.

You’ve got a triathlon. You’re trying to lose a few pounds from your midsection. You want to see how hard and long you can push your body. No matter what your reason for exercising, your body won’t get the full benefit of working out if you don’t have enough endurance to push a little bit longer and harder today than you could a year ago. But how do you teach your body to do more than it currently will?
By building your endurance. And it all starts with a few tried-and-true steps.

Step 1: Prepare for Discipline

If you want to make gains in your endurance, you can’t hit the gym on an inconsistent basis. You’ll need to be disciplined in order to give your body opportunity to make advances in its ability to endure. This may mean going from three to four hard workouts a week. Or maybe it means a little bit more time spent at the gym during each workout. Know your body and your schedule well enough to know the most effective way for you to build your endurance, and then stick to it no matter what. (more…)

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Wave Goodbye to Underarm Flab

Because Flab Ain’t Fab

Thanks to push-up bras and BOTOX parties, women have new opportunity to reverse the power of gravity and time. But what about the sagging that so often takes place on the underside of women’s arms? You could undergo plastic surgery, but wouldn’t you rather try a low-cost method that gives you a sense of accomplishment?
If you’re wondering how to keep the flab at bay or to banish it once and for all, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn what exercises you should be leaning on to keep flabby underarms from hanging out with you.

Push-Ups

One of the beacons of old-fashioned exercise enthusiasts, push-ups provide all sorts of benefits. To tighten and tone your underarms, you’ll want to place your hands close together on the ground. Once in the push-up position (on your toes or knees, torso straight and arms extended out to hold your weight above the ground), lower your body to the ground. As you go down, keep your elbows against your side. Once your chest touches your hands, push yourself back to the starting position, careful to keep your elbows by your side throughout the motion. Go for three sets of 8 to 15 repetitions each.

Women aren’t meant to fly. So there’s no reason for you to live with wings any longer! (more…)
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Surf Your Way Buff

Because exercise sometimes can be as fun as catching a wave.

There is nothing sweeter than catching a great wave. If only it could suffice for your exercise for the day. Good news: it can! Though you have to first take the immense amount of time to master surfing before you will be able to truly consider it exercise, surfing can give you a pretty good workout.

Here’s a glimpse at what muscles you can strengthen while hanging 10.

Upper Body

The first step to surfing is to get to the waves. To do this, you’re going to have to get your hands in the water and dig deep to push yourself to the site of the best surf. While you’re in the process of getting to the waves, your upper body is taxed substantially. Your arms, back, and shoulders are all called upon to get to the hot spot, and if you’re not in good shape, simply getting to the waves can be an exhausting activity. Once you’re in good shape, this process will help you stay there. (more…)

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Back on the Ball

8 more exercises to strengthen your body while on an exercise ball.

So, you’ve been spending time on an exercise ball for some time and you’re looking for something new. But don’t walk away from the exercise ball just yet. Instead, look through the exercises below and slip them into your ball-centric routine.

Bended-Knee Bridges: Start this exercise lying on the ground on your back, with your calves and heels on top of an exercise ball. Place your arms straight out to your sides and lift your back and buttocks off the ground. As you do this, tighten your gluteus maximus and raise your hips toward the ceiling. When you reach the top of the movement, hold the position for a moment and slowly return to the starting position. (more…)

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HardCORE Workouts

Want to strengthen your core? You’re going to have to get hardCORE!

In the exercise and fitness world, your core is the beginning of all things. Without a strong core, you will be unable to maintain proper form as you perform other exercises, stay on your feet as you age, or maintain optimal performance on the athletic field. To help your core stay its strongest, mix these exercises into your regular routine.

Ball-Based Reaching Crunch

Start with your back parallel to the floor as it rests on an exercise ball, your feet placed on the floor approximately shoulder-width apart. Straighten your arms and point them straight up toward the ceiling or sky. Raise your torso as you tighten your abdominal muscles as if you were performing a typical crunch or sit-up. Reach for the ceiling in this position for three seconds, return to the starting position, and repeat for 10 repetitions. (more…)

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Clash of the Titans: Cardio Vs. Strength Training

When and how hard you should push yourself on both of these vital aspects for your overall good health.

More than likely, you know people who are nuts about cardiovascular exercise. They love running on the treadmill and riding the stationary bikes. Lifting weight? No thanks. And if you know many people, you likely know a few weight lifting folks who would rather be stranded on a desert island than have to spend time doing cardio.

But not you. You’re wise to the ways of overall good health. You know the benefits that are offered through a well-rounded exercise routine that incorporates cardiovascular exercise as well as strength training. You’re just unsure how much to get of each and when each is appropriate.
That’s about to change. (more…)

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Losing your Love Handles

Because as you know, they’re not nearly as cute as their name implies

They sit naturally on your hips and turn your otherwise picture-perfect physique into something of a pear. So what can you do to kick those love handles to the curve? You may be surprised to learn that all it takes is a couple exercises you’re probably already doing and a few others.

Crunches. They’re nothing new to your exercise routine, and they shouldn’t be forgotten when you’re in the gym next. In addition to straight-forward crunches, twist to the left and the right to work out the entire abdominal area and to help your body ward off love handles that show up on both sides. (more…)

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Better Butt(ocks)

If your backside is in the front of your mind, here’s what you can do to build better buns.

A useful tool to cushion your tailbone when you find yourself sitting down for a long time, your buttocks can also be a source of concern if it doesn’t look just like you want. So what can you do to whip your buns into tip-top shape? First, you’ve got to eat right. After all, those sugary sweets often land right on your rump. Second, you’ve got to do the right exercises on a regular basis. And these are the right exercises.

Ball and Leg. With your hands on the floor and your stomach resting on an exercise ball, tighten your buttocks as you lift one leg slightly off the floor, with your leg staying straight. Return the foot to the ground and repeat with the other leg. For stronger buns, lift both legs at the same time.

Brazilian Bun Builder. Lie facedown on your favorite exercise ball, placing your palms on the ground. With your back flat, toes on the floor, and legs about three feet apart, squeeze your buttocks tight as you lift your legs as high as they can go. Hold for one second, bring your feet together, separate your legs, and return to your original position. Repeat. (more…)

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Why Weight Training Matters

It’s not just for good looks.

Your heart needs oxygen, so you do aerobics and cardio. But you should also add in some weight training to your routine. No, lifting weights isn’t just a way to beef up your pecs and make your thighs harder than granite (though weight lifting is a great way to do both). Weight training also gives your body and your brain some other perks that are equally as gratifying.

Here are a few of the reasons you need to spend some time with weights in your hands. (more…)